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Compete With Computer in Rock-Paper-Scissors

March 5, 2011

Can you beat the computer in rock-paper-scissors game?

Well, this interactive feature from New York Times can show you how the computer can beat you.

When starting the game, you can choose either the novice computer or the veteran one. The novice computer only studies from your choices, while the veteran one is backed up from previous experience of over 200,000 rounds.

Interesting, isn’t it? I gave it a try with the novice computer. The above picture shows the result after 21 rounds, that is, I won the game. In the beginning I didn’t do well, but later I learned how the computer predicted my choice.

After 21 rounds (it suggests at least 20 rounds before restart the game), I couldn’t wait to compete with the veteran computer.

After seven rounds, I was still learning how this computer reacted. You can see how the computer is thinking after five rounds.

Then I got better. ;-) After 11 rounds,

Sometimes I was ahead of the computer, sometimes not. After 18 rounds,

Then I lost three rounds to the computer. I tried to think how he did and fought back.

I wasn’t too bad, was I? Well, I think that’s enough, let’s call it off since I already won. :D

In the note, it said, if you play it with random choices, then you and the computer have 50/50 winning chance with 1/3 of rounds tied. If you play it not truly randomly — in fact, it’s hard for human to bet randomly, then the computer can study your behavior and tendency.

Give it a try and see whether you can beat the computer or not.

This interactive feature is part of the article in New York Times, discussing how the computer is used in analyzing mass data and is far more efficient and economic than doing by human: Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software.

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